The Litigators

Fed up with the corporate rat race/treadmill, Harvard Law graduate David Zinc quits his lucrative job with a top law firm and joins the two-man ambulance chasing team of Finley and Figg in John Grisham’s  legal thriller – The Litigators.

With the fervor of Erin Brockovich pursuing a cause and some big money, Grisham focuses on a class action suit to bring down a pharmaceutical firm for its death-causing cholesterol drug.  Not even lawyers can control everything, and clever plot twists sustain the momentum.

The action is fast and fun, with a little dark humor mixed in, and the characters have a film noir flavor.  Grisham stays true to his successful formula – a fast read – nice diversion while I was sitting in a waiting room for hours.

Christmas Books When You Are Feeling a Little Grinchy

If the horror who sprayed pepper spray to clear the aisles for her easier access to bargains didn’t squelch your Christmas spirit a little, the news stories every night that portray anything but peace on earth, good will toward men – might.  Laughing at it all may help; two well known authors have diverged from their usual fare of crime and terror, to create Christmas books that use that same Grinchy spirit to replace the frayed tinsel with a warm groggy feeling.  Try these with egg nog and cookies:

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham

Santa Kid by James Patterson

The Confession – John Grisham

A prisoner’s mantra is always – “I didn’t do it.”   In the case of Donté Drumm, a young black man on death row, convicted of  killing a fellow high school classmate, it’s true – he didn’t do it.  In The Confession, John Grisham had me from the beginning, and I read straight through to the end.

It’s days before the execution and the real killer, Travis Boyette, a psychopathic killer, dying of a brain tumor, but reluctant to reveal the truth, seeks out a Lutheran minister to confess.

As Grisham neatly stereotypes the players – both villains and heroes – it was like watching episodes on a really good made-for-TV murder mystery.  I cringed when the bad guys were ahead, and cheered when Kevin, the Pastor, and Robbie Flak, Drumm’s attorney, scored.

Throughout the narrative, Grisham’s opinion on the death penalty is clear.  The bumbling authorities, the greed for death-by-injection at any cost, the blatant ignorance, and criminal denial of due process – all to insure that someone pays for a crime – no matter who.  DNA enters as a new tool for identification, but it’s people seeking the truth, not forensic science that Grisham uses in the process to exonerate an innocent man.  In reality, thirty-five states now have the death penalty; Illinois legislature just voted to abolish it, sending the bill to the governor.

Will Donté’s defense attorney who has been appealing the forced confession and sham trial for nine years in the Texas courts be able to use the information to save Donté?

You’ll need to read the book to find out – it won’t take long.   The Confession is Grisham at his best.

Happy Boxing Day

Today is Boxing Day for my Canadian friends, and a new Canadian author, Tom Rachman – author of The Imperfectionsists is cited in the December 26th Sunday New York Times Book Review…It’s {John Grisham’s}  favorite novel of the year and one of the most promising debuts…read in some time.”

I found this “comic novel” in my favorite West Hollywood bookstore – Book Soup –

Book Soup in West Hollywood

where people behind the register still read and will actually engage in a conversation about books.

If you haven’t yet read the book, and want a taste of what The Imperfectionsists is about, I reviewed it…

and the New Yorker did an interview with Rachman…